No school for some pupils tomorrow

SOME schools across Suffolk are to close tomorrow, as caretakers and technicians take part in a national union strike.Thousands of UNISON members who are local authority employees, ranging from caretakers to social workers, are taking the industrial action over pay.

SOME schools across Suffolk are to close tomorrow, as caretakers and technicians take part in a national union strike.

Thousands of UNISON members who are local authority employees, ranging from caretakers to social workers, are taking the industrial action over pay.

The one-day strike will be the first national action in local government since the Winter of Discontent in 1979.

Eight of the county's 345 schools, including four high schools, three special schools and one middle, will close tomorrow.


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Westbourne High School and Sixth Form in Ipswich informed parents by letter yesterday that its doors would close for the day.

Headteacher Christopher Edwards said: "The effect of this strike in schools, varies according to the size of their site and the number of UNISON members at the school.

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"Along with many other schools across the county, I have decided that without these key members of staff on site I cannot guarantee the safety of all pupils, and have therefore reluctantly decided to close the school to pupils on that day.

"Therefore pupils should not come to school on Wednesday, but attend as normal again on Thursday."

The school sports day has been postponed until Thursday.

However, teachers will be in school, the main building will be open for visiting primary school pupils on their induction day, and a jazz barbecue in the evening will go ahead.

Moira Jackson, education communications manager at Suffolk County Council said: "We wrote to all schools at the beginning of July, informing them of the potential for industrial action as part of the Unison pay negotiations.

"We confirmed this at the end of last week with details of the exemptions affecting school based staff in Suffolk as granted by Unison.

"All schools have been asked to make contingency plans for tomorrow's day of action.

"Only a handful of schools across the county will be closing, where they feel they cannot operate without those support staff who are involved in the Unison action.

"These schools have written to parents to explain their closure."

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